I placed packing peanuts in my plants, now they emit a horrible odor. What can I do?
Hardiness Zone: 10b
By Lev from Sarasota, FL
Remove them, good luck.
Packing peanuts are made from oil products and I strongly recommend against ever using them in a planter. They do eventually dissolve, and then the plants take up the residue. It could kill the plant.
Yes. Remove them from the pot and all the soil. Toss it in a hazardous waste receptacle. Wash the pot 1st with hot water and soap. Then use a scrub brush and scrub the inside vigorously with vinegar. Sprinkle in some baking soda, scrub some more.
Wash again with just hot water (no soap). Let dry in hot sun. Take plant and gently rinse off ALL the soil, you now have a bare-root plant. Trim off any really sick looking branches and leaves closely so there are no little "nubs". Fill the pot with "Potting Mix", not "Garden Soil" as Potting soil is designed for potted plants.
Garden soil is fine, but Potting Mix has special things that help both in maintaining water in the soil yet designed to let excess drain away properly. Also for an ill plant it is fortified with a low/gentle level of fertilizer for starting plants off on a new life. If you want something for drainage in the bottom of the pot, use clean pebbles about twice the size of peas. These can also be bought at the nursery.
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